The Soup Book: 200 Recipes, Season by Season

Image of The Soup Book: 200 Recipes, Season by Season
Release Date: 
September 10, 2019
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“This collection of recipes, focused on simple ingredients and easy techniques, makes the case for eating well, locally, and in season.”

The Soup Book: 200 Recipes, Season by Season is a winning collection from such renowned chefs as Dan Barber, Alice Waters, Raymond Blanc, and other supporters of The Soil Association. This 60-year-old nonprofit based in Bristol, England, was the first to raise alarms about the use of farm herbicides, pesticides. It promoted a holistic view of farming, founded upon a reverence for nature and inspired the British initiative Food for Life, an initiative that encourages school, nursing home, and hospital cooks to source local organic food.

As The Soup Book reminds us, soup is one of the most sustainable dishes in a cook’s repertoire. Created with local, organic, seasonal produce makes expedient use of the odds and ends left from a delicious meal. Given that we Americans now toss out about 40% of the food we purchase, making soup helps keep good food from going to waste and out of our landfills.

This back-to-basics collection will guide home cooks through all the simple steps in making great soups from scratch. It begins with a full chapter on making stocks—Brown Stock, Vegetable Stock, Fish Stock, and Chicken Stock—as the foundation of any great soup.

The next four chapters present a range of seasonal soups, organized by ingredient, so that readers may find the ideal soup to suit whatever is on hand or in the garden. Each recipe is accompanied by freezing times so that readers can prepare extra quantities of their favorite recipes to enjoy later.

Because soup is the universal comfort food, the book provides a range of global recipes from vibrant cultures to satisfy carnivore, pescatarian, vegetarian, and vegan. Take the Spring’s Lettuce Soup with Peas, delicate and vibrant green, it’s given body and tang with a dollop of yogurt and a hint of mint.

Come summer, the Roasted Tomato Soup calls for sun-split plum tomatoes, roasted to enhance their sweet-tart flavors, whirred with a jigger of olive oil and a lot of garlic, a powerful taste of August.

July’s blistering heat calls for Chilled Melon and Ginger Soup, cool as an evening breeze. Focused on autumn’s bounty, the Anglo-Indian Mulligatawny, sparked with hot chilies, simmers chicken in curried coconut mil, brightened with lime.

When winter winds rattle the windows, a classic Ribollita—the hearty vegetarian pot of wintery vegetables, plenty of kale, and bread, finished with bubbly parmesan cheese—will warm the kitchen and soothe the weather weary soul. In this season for cozy suppers, Cuban Back Bean Soup with Ham makes for easy, satisfying entertaining, It can be made a day or two ahead, then wait on the back of the stove until guests arrive with their winter hunger.

But what is soup without a side of homemade bread to sop up the last bit of goodness from the bowl? The final chapter offers a range of yeasted and quick bread choices with suggestions for pairing. The Soft White Rolls with a tangy summer are a tender, rich companion to the light Sorrel Soup while the toothy Rye Bread seems just right with an earthy Mixed Mushroom Soup, laced with sour cream; and nubby, dense Corn Bread, flecked with aged Cheddar, is a perfect match to winter’s rich Chili.

Served hot, cold, or at room temperature, at the beginning of the meal, the entrée, or as dessert, soup is sophisticated, comforting, and ultimately reliable, a kitchen technique worth mastering for just a little thought and effort yields so very much. This collection of recipes, focused on simple ingredients and easy techniques, makes the case for eating well, locally, and in season.